Just when I was about to spend $400 to get the MicroTrack 24/96 despite its many bugs (proprietary lithium-ion battery; 30V phantom power), Roland comes to the rescue with a new model also priced at $400: the Edirol R-09. The various blogs have picked up on it already, so read previews at CreateDigitalMusic.com and Transom.
On first glance it seems ideal: runs on 2 x AA batteries (NiMH ok), uses SD memory cards up to 2 gig, can record 24 bit x 48khz, and can use external mics or line-in as well as its own built-in stereo electrets.
Now although the preliminary review on CreateDigitalMusic mentions that Edirol is saying the R-09 has true 48V phantom power, I don't see it in the specs on the Edirol home page. It only mentions mic "plug-in power" which is much weaker, usually 3-4V. In fact, the external mic jack isn't even balanced, which is a bad sign....
Here are the specs from the Edirol home page:
|Signal Processing||AD/DA conversion: 24 bits, 44.1/48 kHz|
|Data Type||Format: MPEG 1, Audio Layer 3 (MP3), Sampling Rate: 44.1/48 kHz, Bit Rates: 64/96/128/160/192/256/320 kbps, Format: WAV, Sampling Rate: 44.1/48 kHz, Bit Depth: 16/24 bits|
|Memory Card||SD Card (supports 32 MB–2 GB)|
|Input and Output|
|Audio Inputs||Internal Stereo Microphone, External MIC (Stereo miniature phone type, plug-in powered mic), LINE IN (Stereo miniature phone type), Internal mic (stereo), Mic input jack (stereo miniature phone type, plug-in power supported), Line input jack (stereo miniature phone type) |
* The mic input jack and line input jack cannot be used simultaneously (line input takes priority)
|Audio Outputs||Headphone jack (stereo miniature phone type), Digital output jack (optical miniature phone type), Line output jack (stereo miniature phone type) |
* Headphones, digital output, and line output share the same jack
|USB Interface||Mini-B type connector |
* USB 1.1/2.0 mass storage device class compatible
|Display||20 characters, 2 lines ((Organic Light Emitting Diode) )|
|Power Supply||AC Adaptor (PSB-6U), Alkaline dry battery LR6 (AA) type x 2, or Nickel Hydrogen battery (HR15/51) x 2|
|Accessories||Owner's Manual, AC Adaptor (PSB-6U), SD Card (64 M bytes), USB cable (Mini-B type)|
Edirol hasn't posted the manual in PDF yet, so I guess we have to wait for the definitive news. This review of the Marantz PMD-660 is so tempting too.